Posts Tagged ‘ Terry Cavanagh


I contributed a chapter to EXPERIMENT 12, a collaboration with 11 other designers, started by good friend, Terry Cavanagh.  We each made a single chapter in a specific time period over several weeks, my chapter is the final experiment, #12 in fact. May not be what you expect.

I hope you enjoy the game!

Get it:

(Mac + PC.)


[ ‘User Guide’]

1278 Comments (Part 2)

So!  There’s more news to share.  Two games in particular I’d like to talk about.

TIGJam, Game 2: Crap Dancing Game [working title]

Another game I started at TIGJam, and a second collaboration with Terry Cavanagh.

This is an RPG, presented in Colecovision.  It plays out in the world of Danszen, where everybody’s dancing all the time, even in their sleep.  You play young Shimmy who, under the forceful encouragement of his mother, must rise to the top of the ranks, defeating the experts in the three ‘ways’ of dance: Rock, Soul & Electro.

From there, an adventure awaits beyond his wildest dreams…

I’m super excited about this project, it’s using the RPG engine Terry’s been building for his latest project, Nexus City (with Jonas Kyratyes).  I’ve always wanted to make an RPG, Terry and I frequently wax lyrical about our love of the Persona series, and Final Fantasy of course.  So as soon as Soul Brother is out, and Terry’s schedule is freed up a little, we’re gonna plough into this.

It’s not going to be a massive game – I just want something that’ll have an interesting atmosphere & scenario, hopefully inspiring some of the feelings The Catamites’ Space Funeral gave me (one of my favourite games of the year.)

New Secret Project: Legend of the Starmen [working title]

In-game shot

Based in part on Trip:One, the scrolling gravity-’em-up I abandoned last year, this is my latest love.  I’m so into this project right now – let’s hope that feeling stays with me!

Legend of the Starmen is an action RPG.  You play a space mercenary, from a race of people who are born and die within their suits (although they may change and modify them, their religion forbids them from seeing what is inside.)  You belong to a government-run group of soldiers who harvest ‘Starmen’ from planets long-abandoned.

Starmen are nomadic beings made of pure star-energy.  They land on these deserted worlds and build basic societies from the wreckage left there. They are considered not to have rational thought or feelings, although they will protect themselves when threatened, by inhabiting nearby machinery.

They are also the most valuable commodity in the galaxy, because they can be converted to astronomically powerful energy, used to fuel weapons, ships, and all the necessary gear to survive in outer space.

This is why your group exists.  But is there more to Starmen than just the energy they contain?

I don’t want to spoil too much more about the game – I doubt it’ll be out until the end of the year at the earliest.  Suffice to say this is my main focus, and I will do all I can to finish it.  I’m basing the mechanics squarely on Demon’s Souls, one of the greatest games of all time in my opinion.

Starmen act as currency and a means to upgrade oneself.  Dying (and hence dropping them) will only give you one chance to return to get them, or they’ll be lost forever.  Each level has no checkpoints, and must be completed in one go, else the player must return to their base to save.  In addition, the player has an energy bar which functions much like stamina in Demon’s Souls, so it won’t be a case of simply spamming the fire button – choosing when exactly to use one’s energy is key!

To round it off, you can change and upgrade suits, find and carry multiple items, both weapons, secondary-effect-items such as shields, or simply healing items, any of which you can upgrade too.  This should give the player a lot of variety in play-style.

Anyway, that’s the plan, let’s see if I can actually make it now!

And things never go exactly as planned when you do plan, it’s more a case of – let’s see where it takes me…

And finally…

I’m pleased to say the spam filter seems to be doing its job – all 1278 are gone! – so let me know on Twitter or info [at] if you’ve tried to comment but nothing’s got through.

1278 Comments (Part 1)

The title of this post is an homage to the 1278 ‘comments’ I have recieved from my last post.  In other words, 1287 spam replies, indicating just how badly I’ve let my blog slip lately!

As well as addressing the broken comment system, I’m planning to do a great deal more with over the next few months.

This is the first in what will hopefully be more frequent updates to my progress, and I plan on blogging about more non-game-creation topics a little more too.

Anyway, where to begin?

It’s been a tumultuous few months.  Since November when I wrote the last one, all kinds of cool, crazy and sometimes crap things have happened.  Though the good has outweighed the crap by a fair margin!

Soul Brother

So the first thing you might be wondering about is what happened to Soul Brother?  Well there’s very good news on that front… I’ve signed the game to [Adult Swim] games, one of the premier Flash portals out there.  It’s a massive deal for me, as I wasn’t even sure if I could make enough money to get by from it.  As it happens, the deal has meant that I have a degree of financial freedom for the first time since joining the ‘AAA’ industry, and bodes really well for future indie work.

I’ve put a lot more work into the game, more than I originally planned, but I want the game to be the best thing I’ve ever made.  So although the game was 99% done in November, four months have passed and it’s slowly gained an extra sheen of polish which I think has really made the whole process worthwhile.

I also put a lot more time into the soundtrack (and clearing some of the samples, which took frustratingly long – when you dig into house-megalabel Defected’s acapella records, it’s only to be expected I guess!)

There are now six tracks in all, and I really put the same amount of work in that I would have for my drum’n’bass records that were released as things in their own right (normally I consciously spend less time on game music, reasoning that the production quality doesn’t need to be as high to pass.)

Although [adult swim] own the IP to Soul Brother, I retain the rights to the music, which I’m planning on releasing as an OST later this year.  That won’t be a simple port either, I’ll spend a few weeks polishing, extending and even adding to the tracks.  I may even include a couple of bonus tunes, just ‘cos I love you all!

TIGJam, Game 1: American Dream

While attending our local indie-con, TIGJam UK, a four day jamfest at Cambridge’s CB2 (100m from my house), I finally got to collaborate with two of my close friends who I’ve wanted to work with since getting into this indie thing.

These fine fellows are Terry Cavanagh and Stephen ‘increpare‘ Lavelle (and there was also some art contribution from the talented Tom Morgan-Jones who I hadn’t met before, but had heard of.)

Terry had previously made a furnishing-simulator, which was going to be attached to an assasination simulator.  When the theme ’80’s’ came up at the Jam, I wanted to do something to do with the stockmarket, thinking Wall Street / American Psycho, so I suggested this to Terry.  Somehow we came upon trading 80’s film / music idols as commodities.

He got building a trading sim, I reworked the graphics, Stephen strung the whole thing together and wrote the wonderful music, Tom added cutscene art, and the rest is history.

The game was remarkably well received, getting covered on the likes of and Rock Paper Shotgun (one of my favourite blogs.)

Here is the link to play the game (online), hosted exclusively over on Stephen’s site: link.

End of Part 1

Anyway, I’m coming to the end of my allotted blogging time, so I think I’ll save the rest of the news for Part 2.  I have two other projects in the works I’d like to share with you guys, and I’ll probably talk a little about my indie plans for the future.  Hope to see you then!